Plans to axe South Yorkshire’s dedicated police horse unit have been dropped.
Last year chief constables in South Yorkshire, Humberside and West Yorkshire agreed a business case for moving their mounted units into one location in Wakefield.
The number of officers on horseback would have been reduced to 40, while the county’s stables at Ring Farm, Cudworth, Barnsley, faced being mothballed.
But now South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner, Shaun Wright, said a decision has been made to keep the stables open.
“After careful consideration and reviewing all the evidence I decided that it would be best for the public if we maintained our own dedicated mounted section.
“I believe safeguarding the force’s mounted section will help achieve my policing priorities, as the horses improve South Yorkshire Police’s visibility and help reduce crime.
“The chief constable and I believe the mounted section adds value to the police service and are an effective tactic to any police operation.
“Currently the mounted section is used for visibility and public engagement as well as planned events, protests and marches, searches and football matches.
“In these times of austerity, savings have been made. We will also make additional savings through mutual aid.”
South Yorkshire currently has 13 mounted posts, and the unit costs the force around £1 million a year to run.